Two former officials arrested in Japanese-consultant graft case

Two former officials of the East-West Highway and Water Environment Project Management Unit in Ho Chi Minh have been arrested for with “abuse of position and power.

Huynh Ngoc Si (in white), former chief of the East-West Highway project in HCMC, is escorted from his house into a police car while being arrested on suspicion of corruption February 12. (Photo: SGGP)

The Ministry of Public Security’s Investigation Police Agency took into custody February 11 Huynh Ngoc Si, former director of the unit, and Le Qua, former deputy director.

The arrest follows a Japanese court’s recent verdict finding PCI executives guilty of bribing him.

The two allegedly rented out the unit’s building at 3 Nguyen Thi Dieu, District 3, to PCI and pocketing tens of thousands of dollars paid as advance.

They will be in custody for four months.

Earlier, before making the arrest, officers raided Mr.Si’s house in District 3 and Mr.Qua’s house in District 7 looking for more evidence. 

They had begun the investigation following the Tokyo court’s verdict and on February 9, decided to prosecute them under Article 281 of the Criminal Code on bribery.

A source told Sai Gon Giai Phong that city chairman Le Hoang Quan has asked the unit for a report on the lease money Mr.Qua took.

The East-West Highway, begun in 2005, is expected to cost VND9.8 trillion (US$616.5 million).

By Staff writers – Translated by Vinh Tho

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